SARASOTA, Florida—Trey Mancini is a popular Oriole among his teammates, and the news that he’d be leaving the team to undergo a “non-baseball medical procedure” has clearly affected the team.
Starting pitcher Alex Cobb, who’s in his third season with Mancini, spoke for his teammates.
“The only concern is right now for his help and for his family,” Cobb said on Sunday morning. “Zero baseball-related concern. I just know that being around Trey, there’s nobody that’s a better person in the locker room.
“He’s able to be friends whatever type of person … he’s always there to talk to and always brings such an amazing perspective to everything you have conversations about.”
First baseman Chris Davis, who has played with Mancini throughout his career, also expressed concern.
“I think it’s super early,” Davis said. “The season is fast approaching. He felt like he needed to take care of it beforehand, and we support him in anything he does.”
Opening Day is March 26, and Mancini could be absent.
“It’s a huge loss,” Davis said. “Trey was pretty much our most consistent player last year and you’re not going to replace a guy like that. We have a little bit of time.
“Hopefully, whatever he needs to take care of, he can get taken care of, and he’ll be back soon.”
Mancini is one of just a few established veterans on the club.
“It’s frustrating,” Davis said. “It’s disappointing. Obviously you feel for him You know how much hard work you put in, not only here, but this offseason to get ready to have another good year, and anytime you have a little setback like that, it’s disappointing.”
Manager Brandon Hyde has handled the issue with sensitivity, guarding Mancini’s privacy.
“When you’re in this role you never know what’s going to happen,” he said. “What’s going to come to your desk on a day-to-basis. There’s life that happens outside of baseball.
“Trey’s an enormous part of this time, and a huge face for this club, and everybody loves him. When there’s a setback, it hurts to not have him here. We’re just thinking about him and his well-being.”
Hyde said no plans have been made on a possible replacement if Mancini is not ready to play when the season begins.
“The thought of him in mind is natural and normal. We’ve had a lot of individual conversations. We’ve been in constant contact with Trey. Sometimes, things happen that make you open your eyes a little bit from what’s important.”
Cobb said Mancini’s popularity is unrivaled.
“He just loves everybody,” Cobb said. “Whether it’s a random fan in the stands or the clubhouse staff, the guy hitting behind him. He’s got the same relationship with everybody, treats everybody so well.
“To see him go through what he’s going through, it’s heartbreaking, but it gives us all an opportunity to show how much we love him and rally around him and be there for him during this because there’s no doubt in my mind, the competitor that he is, that he’s going to get through this with no problem.
“It’s going to be difficult, but he’s going to get through this. He’s going to come back stronger and definitely with a new perspective of life and appreciation of the game he probably didn’t have before. I’m eager to see that take place. I’m eager to see him just power this. I don’t envision him missing a step on the field. He’s just the most naturally determined player I’ve ever been around.”
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB
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